Penn State Investigation Implicates Icon and Motivates Removal of Monument

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By Mark Felicetti

There is no “aftermath” to thePennStatechild abuse and sexual molestation incidents … people’s lives were forever changed.

The pain continues.

One pathetic parasite, Jerry Sandusky, a single mind teeming with perversion, was responsible for the crimes. But, according to the Freeh investigation, a handful of people in power were complicit in a cover up that allowed that fiend to ruin lives for over a decade.

PSU football head coach Joe Paterno lost perspective of what was truly valuable.

He made a tragic choice in deciding the one and only thing that was important to him … and it wasn’t the victims.

His inaction was inexcusable. His covert action was criminal.

On Sunday,PennStatetook a step toward beginning the healing by removing the statue of Paterno that sat outside their stadium.

It had become an allegory in tableau. It mirrored Paterno’s selfish actions and dishonorable decisions.

The symbolism is sickening.

The statue is cold bronze against a rough granite wall. No warmth or human compassion.

The image is motionless. Not a moment frozen in time, but an indictment of his torpid response to the numerous accusations.

The players (young men) depicted in the background are much smaller and sculpted in bas-relief … pressed flat against the stonewall. The irony is ugly.

Paterno’s figure is separate from them. Ahead, but he is not leading them.

No. He has turned his back to them and he’s walking away … as he did with the victims.

His hand is not raised in a gesture of guidance. He is not beckoning to them, “Follow me.”

Joe is not pointing the way.

His extended index finger does not signify “We’re number one.”

It is symbolic of the one thing that was important to him … the one and only thing. His legacy.

The debate over what to do with the statue became a polarizing issue.

On Sunday, July 15,PennStatequietly issued a statement that “no decision had been made” about the statue.

One week later a work detail blocked off the area around the statue with a chain-link fence that was shrouded in blue tarps. The monument was removed.

The statue has been moved to a secure storage space inside of the stadium … where it will be safe.

In a final and vile twist, the statue received more protection than the victims.

Nothing purifies like fire.

Melt the statue.

Repurpose the metal and cast it into small pendants in the shape of single teardrops.

Sell them, and give the proceeds to organizations for the prevention and detection of child abuse, and programs that assist the victims.

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